Morris Hill Cemetery 317 N. Latah Boise, ID 83706 ( map)
For well over 100 years, Morris Hill Cemetery has functioned as a final resting place for Boise residents. It has also served as a repository of the city's history and as a reflection of the growth and development of Boise, Idaho and the West. You will be asked to look at cemetery markers not simply as mute stones but as works of art and as commentaries on our society. You will learn about the men, women, and children who lived and died in Boise and about the city which they helped build. In short, you will take a brief journey into our past and we hope will emerge with a greater appreciation for our history and a reverence for those who made it.
Although the individuals mentioned here are important to Idaho's history, so too are thousands of others not mentioned. Idaho's history is the cumulative result of the efforts and deeds of those who pioneered, homesteaded, and worked hard to build what we now enjoy. This reminds us that people from all backgrounds are the source of our heritage and the actors in the historical pageant that is Idaho and the West.
Please remember that Morris Hill Cemetery is fully operational and if you encounter a funeral in progress, bypass that area and visit another. Take care not to litter and to leave all plants and memorial items intact. Your assistance in maintaining the dignity of the grounds is appreciated.
Annie "Peg Leg" Morrow (Idaho Pioneer Woman) Bert Henry Miller (Senator) Charles Ostner (Idaho's Pioneer Artist) Col. John Green (Medal of Honor Recipient) Cpl. Dan D. Schoonover (Medal of Honor Recipient) C.W. Moore / Laura M. Cunningham (Founder, Idaho First National Bank) Frank Forrester Church (Senator) James Jesus Angleton (Director of Counter-Intelligence, CIA) James Henry Hawley (Governor) John Michiner Haines (Governor) John Jurko (Hung for Murder) John Lynn Driscoll (President, First National Bank) John Tracy Morrison (Governor) Joseph Albertson (Founder, Albertsons Corporation) J.R. "Jack" Simplot (Founder, J.R. Simplot Company) Harry W. Morrison / Morris Hans Knudsen (Founders, Morrison-Knudsen Co.) Harry Orchard (Killed Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg) Moses Alexander (Governor) Reginald Owen (Actor) William Edgar Borah (Senator)
JOHN JURKO Burial Date: July 9, 1926 Location: Section G-309-1
From Twin Falls, he was buried at Morris Hill after being hung for murder in July of 1926. His attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment using the defense of "he was mentally unstable due to being kicked in the head by a mule when he was younger". In a dispute over his wife's honor, Jurko shot and killed his mine claim partner, E. B. W. Vandermark, in his pool hall.
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SENATOR WILLIAM EDGAR BORAH Burial Date: Jan 25, 1940 Location: Section Borah-1-1
William Borah began practicing law in Boise in the fall of 1890, a few months after Idaho was admitted into the Union. An easy speaker and a favorite of the press, Borah quickly became a leader of the Progressive movement after being elected to the US Senate in 1907. The movement fought for political, social and economic reform. Their agenda included worker safety and an eight hour workday. Early in his career, he fought effectively for the direct election of senators, a graduated income tax and Prohibition. In the 1920's he became the unparalleled leader of the Progressives and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He voted against protective tariffs believing that they would hurt farmers more than help them and argued strenuously for recognition of the Soviet Union and non-intervention in other countries.
The "Lion of Idaho" died at the age of 74. He was married to Mary McConnell, daughter of a former governor of Idaho.
JOHN LYNN DRISCOLL Burial Date: March 12, 1977 Location: Section M-175-4
President, First Security Bank of Idaho With wise planning and the bold use of red and black paint, J. Lynn Driscoll prevented a panic from shutting down the last bank in Boise. In August 1932, two of the capitals three banks had closed their doors-Boise City National and First National Bank of Idaho. That left First Security Bank, managed by Driscoll. As lines formed Wednesday morning, August 31st, he was ready for the run. He had ordered one million dollars in extra currency from the Federal Reserve Bank in Salt Lake City. His tellers were told to pay all comers, but not to act in too hasty a manner. He had intended for the bank to close at noon in support of the Western Idaho Fair but early that morning, he reversed his decision. He and his employees prepared to work until midnight and engaged a sign painter to paint a sign saying "For the benefit of our patrons This Bank Will Be OPEN UNTIL LATE TONIGHT. If You Want Your Money Come and Get It!" The sign was hung before the paint was dry. One customers said "If you've got my money, I guess I really don't want it. But if you haven't got it, then by heaven, I want it now and in full!". First Security stayed open until 9:00pm and survived the panic. Two months later the First National Bank reopened with substantial help from Driscoll and the federal government.
JOSEPH ALBERT "JOE" ALBERTSON Burial Date: Jan. 22, 1993 Location: Section Q-149-1
Joe Albertson was the founder of Albertson's supermarkets (he built one store into a billion dollar chain) and a notable philanthropist.
After graduating from Caldwell High School in 1925, Albertson studied business for two years at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. While in college in 1927, he began his career in the grocery industry as a clerk at a local Safeway store. In 1930, Joe married his college classmate Kathryn McCurry, of Boise, Idaho.
Albertson quickly moved through the ranks with Safeway, until he was supervising more than a dozen stores. But he was not satisfied and wanted to start his own store-one that he could build to his own specifications and manage his own way. With $5,000 of the money he and Kathryn had saved, and with $7,500 borrowed from his wife's aunt, Albertson formed a partnership with L.S. Skaggs, a former Safeway division manager, and Tom Cuthbert, Skaggs' accountant. At the age of 32, Albertson opened his store in 1939 on three principles: quality, good value, and excellent service. Albertson is credited as being one of the pioneers of the complete one-stop, self-service supermarket concept.
Albertson opened his second and third Albertsons stores in Nampa and Caldwell, Idaho in 1940. During the years of World War II, when food was being rationed, he filled the empty shelves with health and beauty products, general household goods and other non-food items.
Albertson's reputation for generosity and community involvement grew during those war years. His stores promoted war bonds and sponsored scrap drives that collected aluminum, steel, fats, and paper for recycling. Albertson's generosity continued throughout the years, with the College of Idaho receiving many donations from Joe and Kathryn and ultimately changing it's name to the Albertson College of Idaho for sixteen years from 1991 to 2007. Perhaps the most obvious gift to the citizens of Boise is the 41-acre Kathryn Albertson Park with its winding walkways, wildflowers, trees and ponds.
In 1966, Joe and Kathryn established the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation as a way to administer their own charitable giving. They focused their giving primarily on education, which was important to Joe and Kathryn because neither were able to finish college during the Great Depression. Since then, the foundation has given more than $240 million to Idaho's communities and education systems. The foundation continues to give to charities, primarily in areas where Joe and Kathryn lived or worked in Idaho.
JOHN TRACY MORRISON Memorial Date: December 24, 1915 Location: Section E-144-2
Morrison graduated from Cornell Law School in 1890 and moved to Caldwell, ID, where he became a successful attorney and an active member of the local Presbyterian Church. In 1891, Morrison was influential in founding the College of Idaho and served as an original faculty member, teaching English and history. In 1893 he became a member of the school's board of trustees. Governor Idaho Republicans nominated Morrison as their gubernatorial candidate in 1902. He was elected by defeating the Democratic incumbent, Frank W. Hunt. Morrison sought reelection in 1904, but Republicans declined to nominate him for a second term, instead supporting Frank R. Gooding. Upon leaving office Morrison returned to his Caldwell law practice.
CPL. DAN D. SCHOONOVER Memorial Date: September 24, 1973 Location: Field of Honor II (FH2) - Memory Row
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for military valor that can be conferred by the government of the United States. It is personally given by the President for "individual gallantry at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty". Dan Schoonover was the second recipient of the Medal of Honor at Morris Hill Cemetery for his actions on July 8th, 9th and 10th of 1953 in the Korean war. He was a corporal in the U.S. Army, in charge of an engineer demolition squad attached to a company that was sent to dislodge the enemy from a vital hill. Realizing that the heavy fighting made it impossible to accomplish his mission, he used his unit as a rifle squad and they fought their way up the barren hillside. When an artillery round exploded nearby, he ran forward, killed an enemy soldier and took one prisoner. He later ran through a hail of fire, hurling grenades into the nearest door, ran to the doorway and emptied his pistol, killing the remainder of the enemy. His brave action enabled our troops to continue their advance to the top of the hill. When they counterattacked, he constantly exposed himself to fire in order to direct his men. Even though his company was relieved early the next morning, he voluntarily remained and manned a machine gun for several hours until he himself was mortally wounded. His heroic leadership during two days of heavy fighting, exceptional personal bravery and willing self sacrifice inspired his comrades and saved many lives, reflecting lasting glory upon himself and upholding the honored traditions of the military service. His body is missing and not recovered, but a memorial plaque was placed by his family in the Field of Honor section of Morris Hill Cemetery.
CHARLES OSTNER Burial Date: December 9, 1913 Location: Section E-146-5
"Idaho's Pioneer Artist" In a glass case on the second floor of the state capitol building, there is a gilded equestrian statue of George Washington. Known as the Charles Ostner statue, it was carved from pine over a four year period by an Austrian immigrant who first modeled the piece in snow while working as a miner in the Florence Basin. To obtain Washington's likeness, Ostner used a U.S. postage stamp. He gave the statue to Idaho Territory in 1869; it stood outside on the capitol grounds for sixty five years before it was restored and brought indoors. The legislature granted the sculptor $2,500 for his effort. He also crafted several unique monuments for Pioneer Cemetery which the Idaho Historical Society now retains for safekeeping.
COL. JOHN GREEN Burial Date - August 25, 1909 Col. Green received the medal of honor on November 18, 1897 for his actions at the Lava Beds, California on January 17, 1873 during the Indian Wars. At that time he was a Major in the first U.S. Cavalry. "In order to reassure his command, this officer, in the most fearless manner and exposed to very great danger, walked in front of the line; the command thus encouraged, advanced over the lava upon the Indians who were concealed among the rocks." Even though he never held a higher rank than Lieut. Colonel in the Army, to Boisians, the German born Green would always be referred to as General Green. It is safe to say that no military man was ever better known or more popular in Idaho's capitol.
C.W. MOORE Burial Date: September 22, 1916 Location: Section A-13-A
LAURA M. CUNNINGHAM Burial Date: August 19, 1963 Location: Section A-10-5
Founder of the Idaho First National Bank, C. W. Moore was also president of the water company and his was the first house (located on Warm Springs Avenue) in the country to be heated by natural hot water (geothermal). His daughter, Laura Cunningham, donated the five acre arboretum behind her home (also on Warm Springs Avenue) to the City of Boise.
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MORRIS HANS KNUDSEN Burial Date: November 22, 1942 Location: Section B-48-4
HARRY W. MORRISON Burial Date: July 22, 1971 Location: Section B-48-7
Morris Knudsen, a Danish immigrant and Nebraska farmer, came to Idaho in 1905 to work on the New York Canal with a team of horses and a fresno scraper. On the project, the fifty year old Knudsen met twenty seven year old Harry Morrison, who had started as a timekeeper on the Minidoka Dam on the Snake River and was now a concrete superintendent for the Reclamation Service - "the two hit it off like finger and thumb". In 1912, with $600 in capital, a few horses and scrapers, and a dozen wheelbarrows, they decided to form their own construction company.
During World War II, Morrison-Knudsen built airfields, storage depots, and ships; it expanded into foreign construction - an effort that now includes over sixty countries.
HARRY ORCHARD Burial Date: April 19, 1954 Location: Section C-8-1
The bomb slayer of a score of men in mine labor violence at the turn of the century, died and was buried at Morris Hill Cemetery after nearly 50 years of imprisonment. He was 88 years old.
A trustee who was permitted to live outside the Idaho State Penitentiary for years, Orchard was brought back inside the walls when he suffered a stroke in 1953. He became bedfast for three months then lapsed into a coma one week before he died in the prison hospital.
His career as a killer ended with the dynamite slaying of former Idaho Governor, Frank Steunenberg at Caldwell on December 30, 1905 and his confession led to one of the most celebrated trials of the early twentieth century. He was the last survivor of the famous participants in this trial - Clarence E. Darrow, William E. Borah and William D. (Big Bill) Haywood.
Steunenberg incurred the wrath of the Western Federation of Miners Union when he called in federal troops to quell labor violence in the north Idaho mining district in 1899. Unmanageable miners were herded into bullpens, but Orchard escaped this confinement by hiking over the hills to Montana. He became a vagabond dynamiter, killing mine owners, non-union men and public officials who opposed the federation in California, Colorado and Idaho.
Haywood, Secretary Treasurer of the union; Charles Moyer, President, and G. A. Pettibone, Director, were arrested in Denver on secretly drawn extradition warrants and brought to Boise. The State and U.S. Supreme Courts held that although their arrest and transportation might have been illegal, they had to stand trial for murder once they were in Idaho.
Darrow, later to become famous as a defense attorney, assisted in their defense while Borah, who had just been elected to the U. S. Senate, was a special prosecutor.
Haywood and Pettibone were acquitted and the charge against Moyer was dropped. Haywood later fled to Russia to avoid prosecution for seditious conspiracy. He died there in 1928 and is buried in the Kremlin.
After the trial, Orchard pleaded guilty and was sentenced to hang. His sentence later was commuted to life. He was converted to Christianity soon after his arrest, and in recent years wrote a book in collaboration with Seventh Day Adventist church officials. It was titled "Harry Orchard: The Man God Made Again".
(PEG LEG) ANNIE MORROW Burial Date: September 14, 1934 Location: Section 4-48-8
During the gold rush, before the turn of the century, Annie Morrow owned "houses of entertainment" in Atlanta and Rocky Bar. She lost her feet from frost bite after being caught in a snow storm (her traveling companion, Em, was not as lucky and perished). Annie died of cancer at the age of 75 at the old St. Al's Hospital and was buried here on September 14, 1934. She was a true Idaho Pioneer woman, owning a business and mining claims during a time when only the strong survived.
SENATOR BERT HENRY MILLER Burial Date: October 13,1949 Location: Mausoleum A-4-1
Miller graduated from Brigham Young University in 1901 and from Cumberland School of Law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1902. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in St. Anthony, ID in 1903, and was prosecuting attorney of Fremont County, ID from 1912 to 1914.
Miller ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1914. He was elected Idaho Attorney General in 1932, and reelected in 1934. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1936, and served for two months in 1938 as Idaho's labor commissioner. He was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for election in 1938 to the Seventy-sixth Congress. He was an attorney in the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor at Seattle, WA in 1939 and 1940, and was attorney general of Idaho from 1940 to 1944. He was elected a justice of the State Supreme Court in 1944.
Miller culminated his career by being elected to the United States Senate in 1948, defeating Republican incumbent Henry Dworshak. However, his post was short lived dying just nine months after taking office. Governor C.A.A. Robins appointed Dworshak to succeed him.
JAMES JESUS ANGLETON Inurnment Date: June 29, 1987 Location: Section 6-45-4
Angleton was the retired director of counterintelligence for the CIA, where he gained a reputation as a brilliant, tireless, single minded and mysterious guardian of the nations secrets. He died of cancer at the age of 69. When he resigned as number two man in the CIA in 1975, the word was out that James Angleton had been America's master spy for many years.
He was born in St. Al's hospital on December 9, 1917. The family moved to Italy where in his teens, he became protg of the internationally famous poet, Idaho-born Ezra Pound. Later when Jim entered Yale, he and poet Reed Whitemore edited a quarterly of original poetry called Furioso to which Pound was a contributor along with E. E. Cummings and Archibald MacLeish.
After Harvard Law School, he joined the Army and entered the OSS as an infantry sergeant. Four years later, after serving in Italy (uncovering secret correspondence between Hitler and Mussolini, among other things), he resigned in Washington, D.C. as a Major but continued to serve through 31 years in OSS and CIA sensitive areas.
In 1975 a Time magazine writer reported that dozens of international spies have been caught in Angleton's net, among them the real life Topaz. While with the CIA, Angleton was credited by some with helping expose Kim Philby, the former high official of Britain's (MI6 Secret Service) who fled to Moscow in 1963. In the course of his career, he became one of the most celebrated intelligence officers of his time. In early 1975, he had to resign during controversy over the agency's domestic activities.
Stooped, lean, professorial and chain smoking, he wrote poetry, grew orchids and tied fishing flies for relaxation.
GOVERNOR JAMES HENRY HAWLEY Burial Date: August 7, 1929 Location: Section SJ4-32-4
James Henry and Mary Elizabeth Hawley are buried in the Saint Johns section of Morris Hill Cemetery. He arrived in Idaho in 1862, a 15 year old miner seeking to make his fortune in the gold rush and went on to become the state's most prominent lawyer. He had a reputation for having tried more murder cases than any attorney in the country. A Democrat, he was Mayor of Boise, Governor of Idaho and he ran unsuccessfully for the U. S. Senate. Despite his well heeled success, he never pulled off the knee high rubber boots he wore to muck through the mines as a teen.
His nick name "the Gum-boot Lawyer" came from a judge in the 1870's who shouted: "No darn gum-boot lawyer can come down here from Quartzburg and bulldoze this court!"
Born in Dubuque, Iowa, January 17, 1847, he tried to join the Union Army in 1861. Rejected because of his youth, he stowed away on a troop boat, but was discovered midstream and unceremoniously sent ashore in a row boat. Instead, he went to San Francisco with his uncle, James Carr, and followed him to the Idaho gold fields in 1862. He reached Lewiston in three weeks, swimming the Snake River to save the $1 ferry toll. Then he moved on to the mining town of Florence, home of 5,000 prospectors. Hawley sold his claims in 1865 and returned to San Francisco to earn his college degree. He returned to the Boise Basin in 1868. As he was settling into Boise, his future wife, Mary Elizabeth Bullock, was making her way west in a covered wagon. In 1871 he received his law license and he and Mary were married. She convinced him to quit mining and become a full time lawyer. He was 23 years of age and this same year he was elected to the Idaho House. He also served in the upper chamber, introducing a bill for women's suffrage in the 1874-75 session. In 1886, he was appointed U.S. Attorney. Governor from 1911 until 1913, Hawley's administration established highway districts, the State Board of Education, and a banking law.
GOVERNOR MOSES ALEXANDER Burial Date: 1932 Location: Section BI-5-5
In 1914, Alexander became the first Jewish Governor in the United States. He went on to earn a reputation for wit, eloquence and progressivism. Alexander, who came to Boise a year after statehood to found a men's clothing store, twice was elected Governor (as a Democrat) and twice Mayor of Boise. As Governor, he started the state highway system, workers' compensation and the State Insurance Commission. He led the way for statewide prohibition in 1916. He vowed to save taxpayers money.
After a statehouse visit, he said, "Not until I came to an office marked 'Bee Inspector' did I fully realize how badly the people of this state had been stung." He made good on his pledge, calling for tax cuts, abolition and consolidation of agencies and a cut in the governors salary. His most difficult test came during strikes in the sawmills, woods and mines of Northern Idaho. Sympathetic to labors demands, he resisted calls for martial law. Finally he ordered 1000 troops north. No serious conflicts occurred.
When he died at the age of 78 in 1932, Alexander was warmly eulogized. "Alexander had no superior", said Alfred Budge, Supreme Court Chief Justice. "He was a superb statesman."
SENATOR FRANK FORRESTER CHURCH Burial Date: April 2, 1984 Location: Section Church-1-1
Was student body president at Boise High and served Idaho for 24 years in the U.S. Senate. He was elected to the Senate in 1956 at the age of 32 and by the time he left 24 years later, he was one of the most senior and respected members of the world's most powerful deliberative body.
Church entered Harvard Law School, but transferred to Stanford University when he thought the cold Massachusetts winter was the cause of a pain in his lower back. The pain did not go away and the doctors soon diagnosed the problem as cancer. After removing glands in his lower abdomen, he was given only a few months to live. However, he rebounded from the illness after another doctor started X-ray treatments.
He graduated from law school in 1950 and returned to Idaho where he began practicing law. Soon after he was elected to the Senate, because of his work on the civil rights bill, then-Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson rewarded the young senator with a seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In 1964, Church was the floor sponsor of the National Wilderness Act. In 1968 he sponsored the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and gained passage of a ten year ban of federal plans to transfer water from the Pacific Northwest to California. In 1973, Senator Church and Senator Clifford Cast, R, New Jersey, sponsored legislation that forced an end to the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. Working with other Northwest congressmen, Church helped establish the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area which protected the gorge from dam-building. In January 1979, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. In 1980, Church won passage of the 2.2 million acre River of No Return Wilderness Area, the largest wilderness area outside Alaska.
Church was 59 years old when he died at home after a three month battle with cancer. He was married to Bethine Clark, the daughter of Idaho's Democratic Governor, Chase Clark. The two became close friends.
J.R. "JACK" SIMPLOT Burial Date: May 30, 2008 Location: Section T-75-2
J.R. Simplot was the founder of the J.R. Simplot Company, an agricultural supplier specializing in potato products. J.R. began his career when he quit school in the eighth grade, at age 14, leaving home to strike out on his own in 1923 to work on a farm near Delco, Idaho. By World War II, the J.R. Simplot Company had become the largest shipper of fresh potatoes in the nation.
In 1945, Simplot established a canning and dehydrating quick-freeze plant in which employees tested frozen potato products. The Simplot Company is credited with pioneering the first commercial frozen French fry in the late 1940s, with Simplot establishing a patent for the invention in 1953.
In 1967, Simplot and McDonalds founder Ray Kroc agreed by hand shake that the Simplot Company would provide frozen French fries to the restaurant chain. By 1972, all McDonald's fries were frozen, making the transition from fresh cut potatoes. The frozen fry deal led to expansion of Simplot potato processing plants and construction of a new plant at Hermiston, OR, in 1977. By 2005, Simplot supplied more than half of all french fries for the fast food chain.
J.R. was involved in a number of other business ventures including the financing of Brundage Mountain Ski Area near McCall, ID (selling his 50% interest in 2006) and providing startup capital in the early 1980s for the fledgling Micron Technology, a Boise-based manufacturer of computer memory chips.
Simplot retired as president of his company in 1973, but remained as chairman until 1994. He held the title of Chairman Emeritus until his death in 2008. In 2001, Simplot received an honorary degree from Utah State University honoring him for his many contributions to the agricultural industry of America and, particularly, the Intermountain West.
J.R. and his wife Esther have been very generous through the years, giving to multiple charitable organizations including the Boy and Girl Scouts of America, Ballet Idaho, Boise Art Museum, and St. Luke's Children's Hospital. The couple also donated their signature hilltop home, in Boise's north end, to the State of Idaho in 2005 for use as a governor's mansion, now known as "The Idaho House", as well as purchased and donated a 55-acre parcel of Boise River front property to the City of Boise in 2003, which will eventually be developed as Esther Simplot Park.
REGINALD OWEN Burial Date: November 11, 1972 Location: Section Q-46-3
Owen studied at Sir Herbert Tree's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his professional debut in 1905. He came to the United States from England in 1920 and worked on Broadway. He later moved to Hollywood, where he began a lengthy film career.
Owen is perhaps best known today for his performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1938 film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Owen also was one of only three actors (Patrick Macnee and Jeremy Brett are the others) who played both Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in film and/or television. Owen first played Watson in the 1932 film Sherlock Holmes, and then Holmes himself in 1933's A Study in Scarlet.
Later in his career, Owen appeared opposite James Garner in the television series Maverick in the episodes "The Belcastle Brand" (1957) and "Gun-Shy" (1958), and also in the Walt Disney movies Mary Poppins (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).
GOVERNOR JOHN MICHINER HAINES Burial Date: June 07, 1917 Location: Section B-129-3
Haines was born in Jasper County, Iowa, on January 1, 1863. After finishing three years at Penn College (a sectarian institution for the Quaker faith), Haines withdrew from school due to ill health. He moved to Richfield, Kansas and started a career in the real estate industry. Haines entered politics as a member of the Republican State Central Committee. He also served as Morton County's deputy clerk, and in 1889 was elected register of deeds. In 1890, he moved to Idaho and established a real estate business in Boise. Returning to public service, Haines served as Boise's mayor from 1907 to 1909. He won the 1912 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor's office on January 6, 1913. During his tenure, he advocated a consolidated control system of educational establishments and a public utilities commission. Also, the state board of education was created, a workmen's compensation bill was vetoed, Power County was founded, and an appropriation of $1,200 dollars was sanctioned for former-Governor Willey, who had become destitute. After losing his reelection bid, Haines retired from politics, and returned to his real estate business.